Friday, August 26, 2016

Thank you to Catharine Lloyd

For the past 3 years, ACA Communication Coordinator Catharine Lloyd has kept the paddlesports community up to date with social media posts and ACA eBlasts on a wide range of relevant information for paddlers.

In addition, she also spearheaded all three of the ACA's animated videos as well as the Paddle Ready app.

On behalf of the ACA staff and membership, we wish you well in all your future endeavors.

We hope to see you out on the water!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Happy Birthday National Park Service!

The National Park Service (NPS) turns 100 today! Since its founding in 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, the NPS has been working diligently to protect #publiclands in the U.S., including some of our favorite places to paddle. 

In celebration of this centennial birthday milestone, parks across the country will be offering FEE-FREE entry from August 25-28. Spread the word!

"The fundamental idea behind the parks is that the country belongs to the people." 
- President Obama, during his weekly address celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

Moving forward, we invite you to join the ACA and its partners in the outdoor recreation community as we advocate to keep public lands out of private hands

The ACA believes our country's federal lands belong to all Americans; no matter where you live, how much money is in your bank account, or where you grew up, you own some of the most stunning places in the country. Every person who wishes to paddle, hike, ski, climb, mountain bike, and simply sight-see on our nation's public lands and waters must remain free to do so. 

Wish the NPS a happy 100th, and get out there and paddle in a park near you! Consider taking a Paddle Green Bag with you when you go, and don't forget to share your national park paddling adventures on social media using the hashtags #FindYourPark and #NPS100.

Use this handy online tool to find your National Park

See you on the water! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Paddler Relies on ACA Instruction to Save a Life in the Surf

"This weekend we (me and my kids) were SUP surfing at Assateague, Maryland when someone from the shore was flagging us down. Her husband had gone for a swim and was caught in a riptide. I think my forward stroke was faster then Connor Baxter. When I got there, he had just gone down. I was able to get him back up, and then I did the flip technique [I learned in my SUP course] to get him on my board and get the leash on him.

My daughter got there and we tied her board to my board and she paddled the 2 boards back to the beach. I was swimming next to the board to make sure he stayed on and was safe.

All was well—so thanks for teaching me how to flip someone on my board—it saved someones life."

- Gary Rottman, in an email to Todd Bishop (ACA L3 SUP Surf Instructor) last week.

To find an ACA instructor near you, download our free Paddle Ready app and use the "find an instructor" function. Or visit

Friday, August 19, 2016

Registration is Now Open - 2016 National Paddlesports Conference

Registration just went live for the 2016 National Paddlesports Conference in sunny Sausalito, California, November 11-13.

Visit to snag the early bird rate today. We hope to see you this fall.

Event schedule  

Pre- and Post-Conference Events

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

ACA Member Benefit: Discount on Bishop Boards

Did you know? ACA members can receive up to 40% off on Bishop SUP boards, paddles, gear, apparel, and whatever else you need to get out on the water safely, and in style!

Contact the ACA National Office for the discount code, and then visit the Bishop Boards online shop to snag a good deal. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

2016 Midwest Canoe Symposium

The Midwest Canoe Symposium
Camp Butler - Peninsula, Ohio
September 9-11, 2016

Join us for a weekend full of paddling, great food, fun and friendship. The Midwest Canoe Symposium offers many classes and seminars-- from Canoe Poling, Freestyle Canoe, SUP, Instructor Updates and Endorsements, to Qigong and special topic classes!

The quiet water venue is ideal for people wishing to improve their paddling and precise boat control skills. Courses are offered in all skill levels and are taught by ACA certified instructors. The event is located in the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and there are lots of non-paddling activities available such as hiking, biking, historic tours, shopping, etc. for friends or spouses. 

National Interpretive Freestyle Championships
Sat, Sept 11th at 6:15 p.m.

Registration Information can be found at

Don't miss out-- early bird registration ends August 22, and the final registration deadline is August 29.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back to School Shopping? Support the ACA With Your Purchases!

You can support the ACA, at no extra cost to you, when you shop through the ACA's Amazon Smile link!

Here's how it works:

1) Visit our AmazonSmile link:

2) Shop like you normally would on

3) Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the ACA. Simple as that.

  Thanks for your support! Paddle on. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Get Stoked For The 2016 National Paddlesports Conference Nov 11-15

The 2016 National Paddlesports Conference in Sausalito, California is only 3 months away! Registration opens on August 19. A great deal of information will be posted over the next 2 weeks in anticipation of registration. Check the ACA Conference website to stay informed. 

The schedule is nearly finalized. Here is a taste of what is in store...

Pre and Post ICWs and Endorsements will include:
  • Level 4 and Level 5 Coastal Kayak Instructor
  • Level 3 SUP Surf Instructor
  • SUP Yoga Endorsement
  • Adaptive Paddling Endorsement
At a minimum, instructor updates will include the disciplines of:
  • SUP
  • Coastal Kayak
  • Canoe
  • Instructor Trainer Updates will also be available
The schedule will also include several on-water and classroom educational sessions, an overnight kayaking trip to Angel Island, several gear demos, booths, and much, much more.

More information will be coming out regularly, so help get the stoke on and be ready to register on August 19.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Congratulations to our August Instructor of the Month, Gil Hidalgo!

The ACA is proud to partner with Kokatat for the ACA Instructor of the Month recognition program. Instructor of the Month award recipients are featured in our Paddle eMagazine and across ACA social media channels. They also receive some complimentary Kokatat gear.

Congratulations to August Instructor of the Month, Gil Hidalgo!

"I grew up surrounded by water. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and raised in a US Navy base in south Spain; Charleston, South Carolina; and Puerto Rico, it was inevitable that water would be a big part of my life. From scuba diving to surfing, I was always on the water. I was known to skip college to go fishing regularly. It wasn’t until early 2006 when I started kayak fishing that I traded my surfboard, snorkel and motorcycles and eventually, fishing poles, to dedicate all my free time to paddlesports. It’s possible one day I will trade my profession of professional photographer and live only to paddle. Paddlesports has become my healthy obsession. The rougher the water the more I enjoy it."
- Gil Hidalgo, ACA Instructor

Read the rest of our interview with Gil in the September issue of Paddle - coming soon!

Do you know an excellent instructor who deserves recognition? Fill out this simple form to submit a nomination for the next Instructor of the Month.

You can view a list of previous Instructor of the Month awards recipients here.

Thanks to our friends at Kokatat for sponsoring this program.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Partnership with the International Whitewater Hall of Fame

The ACA is pleased to announce a new partnership with the International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHoF).

“We are excited about this new partnership because it provides implementation assistance and a connection to 30,000 paddlers who are members of ACA to volunteer and help support IWHoF’s efforts,” says IWHoF Board of Governors Chair Risa Shimoda. 

“For the ACA, it broadens our international outreach and shines a light on a part of the paddlesports community that is very much a part of our foundation,” says ACA Chief Operating Officer Christopher Stec.

“IWHoF has been a great banner-waver for many of the greatest athletes, adventurers, designers and business innovators in paddlesports, and it also advocates heavily for protecting our rivers,” says former inductee Eric Jackson, president of Jackson Kayaks.

The International Whitewater Hall of Fame (IWHoF) recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant contributions to whitewater related activities. The IWHoF was founded in 2003 by Adventure Sports Center international in McHenry, MD. To date, 39 honorees have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since the first class was inducted in 2005. The honorees of IWHoF hail from these countries:
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • New Zealand
  • Great Britain
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • United States
We are proud to honor their legacy and those of the dozens of other world class athletes, pioneers, advocates, and explorers from around the world who have been nominated to the Hall of Fame.

The IWHoF is a program of the ACA and its International Paddlesports Partners. The ACA is proud to support these whitewater Advocates, Champions, Explorers and Pioneers.
Learn more about these whitewater legends...

Monday, August 1, 2016

USA Canoe/Kayak Athletes’ 2016 Olympics Schedule

The ACA Board of Directors, membership and staff wish our Olympic athletes fast lines in Rio!

The USA Canoe/Kayak Athletes' 2016 Olympics Schedule is as follows:

Casey Eichfeld (C1M Slalom): Heats 1, 11:30 AM EST
Casey Eichfeld (C1M Slalom): Heats 2, 1:30 PM EST
Michal Smolen (K1M Slalom): Heats 1, 12:20 PM EST
Michal Smolen (K1M Slalom): Heats 2, 2:20 PM EST

McEwan/Eichfeld (C2 Slalom): Heats 1, 11:30 AM EST
McEwan/Eichfeld (C2 Slalom): Heats 2, 1:20 PM EST
Ashley Nee (K1W Slalom): Heats 1, 12:10 PM EST
Ashley Nee (K1W Slalom): Heats 2, 2:00 PM EST

*C1M Slalom Semifinals: 12:30 PM EST
*C1M Slalom Finals: 1:10 PM EST

*K1M Slalom Semifinals: 12:30 PM EST
*K1M Slalom Finals: 1:15 PM EST

*C2 Slalom Semifinals: 11:30 AM EST
*C2 Slalom Finals: 1:15 PM EST
*K1W Slalom Semifinals: 12:15 PM EST
*K1W Slalom Finals: 2:00 PM EST

Maggie Hogan (K1W Sprint 200M): Heats, 8:45 AM EST
*K1W Sprint 200m Semifinals, 10:07 AM EST

*K1W Sprint 200m Finals, 8:47 AM EST

Maggie Hogan (K1W Sprint 500m): Heats, 8:58 AM EST
*K1W Sprint 500m Semifinals: 9:55 AM EST

*K1W Sprint 500m Finals: 8:56 AM EST